Read Exodus Chapter 1
“And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.” Exodus 1:22
We live in a world of insecurities and no one is immune. All of us deal with it on some level. Insecurity has many causes such as failure, rejection, discomfort, or fear. Many wealthy, attractive, and outgoing people live with tremendous insecurities. They fear losing what they believe brings them security—wealth, looks, or fame.
It almost sounds crazy because it is crazy. We are insecure because we fear losing what supposedly makes us secure, therefore we become insecure. We humans are funny creatures. Perhaps this is why Paul told Timothy, ”For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” 2 Timothy 1:7. Our insecurities are flesh driven and real courage is spirit driven.
Egypt was the strongest and most prosperous nation in the region. Israel occupied much of their land after Pharaoh allowed Joseph and his family to enter from Canaan during the great famine. As the years passed and Joseph and his generation died off, the new king became increasingly uncomfortable with the growing Jewish nation. Exodus 1:6-7 states, “And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.”
Certainly, God was blessing the Israelites while they were the guests of the Egyptians. In Canaan, the Israelites mingled and intermarried with the Canaanites which displeased God. They involved themselves with sin and sexual perversion. Through a horrific famine, God moved them to Egypt. The Egyptians maintained a sense of superiority over other nations and rarely married outside of their own race. God protected Israel’s own purity through their time in Egypt.
However, Egypt’s wealth, prestige, and power, led to Pharaoh’s insecurities. The very things that Pharaoh believed ensured Egypt’s security, led to their insecurity and to decision making that seems insane. Pharaoh must deal with the perceived threat to his security—the Israelites, therefore he enslaves them. However, despite their enslavement God still blessed Israel, “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel,” (Exodus 1:12).
Pharaoh’s response was to simply increase the pain on Israel. Apparently, this did not work either, and soon Pharaoh makes the completely irrational decision to order the killing of all Hebrew baby boys. His irrational insecurities lead him to insane decision making—murder.
Here is a man who has everything. Wealth, power, and position. Yet, in verses 15-16, Pharaoh finds himself going to lowly Hebrew midwives and ordering the murder of all the Hebrew baby boys as they are born. “And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.”
Now if anyone had reason to live a life of insecurities it was these ladies. They were enslaved by Pharaoh and now ordered to kill all the new born Hebrew baby boys. These ladies had no power, no wealth, and no position of political authority. Their lives were directed by the Egyptian government. They would live or die by the authority of Pharaoh. Yet they lived their lives in complete contrast to Pharaoh. They lived their lives in confidence. Why?
The answer is simple and provided for us in verse 17, “But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.” They found their security and value in God. Yes, they may have feared Pharaoh, but they feared God more. Pharaoh’s god was his political position, his wealth, and his power. All things that could be taken from him. However, the God of the midwives was eternal and all powerful. Their security did not rely on worldly possessions or position. They believed that God would honor and take care of them in their obedience to Him.
Was there a risk? Certainly. They could have lost their lives, their jobs, their homes, etc. But their hope was not in those things. Their hope remained focused on God and God alone. What was the result for both the midwives and Pharaoh?
“Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive,” (Exodus 1:20-22).
Typically, midwives were barren women unable to have children of their own. The term “gave them houses” indicates a family. God provided for these women in ways they never imagined—He gave them a family of their own. That’s what our obedience to God does. It opens up doors to God’s provision that we cannot open on our own. Their fear of God and not man allowed God to provide them with supernatural results.
How about Pharaoh. Well, his insecurity drove him to even more irrational decision making. His fear of man and not God led him to step up the murder of more innocent children. God will still have His way though, as this gruesome decision paved the way for Israel’s deliverer, Moses.
Are we Pharaoh or are we the Hebrew midwives? When our hope is in worldly things, then insecurities will rule our lives. We will become easily depressed, discouraged, anxious, and prone to irrational decisions.
When our hope is in God and Him alone, then we can stand strong in all circumstances, knowing that my losses are gains. I know that God can make up whatever I lose when I am walking in the fear of Him and obedience to Him.
Are you insecure, anxious, discouraged, depressed, and ready to quit? Who do you fear?
What are you holding onto that drives your insecurities?
How do we move from a fear of man to a fear of God?
Are you willing to let go of the things that you fear in order to let God do a work in your life that only He can do?